Is Sharing Caring?

It has been a while since I posted anything here. It has been a while since I posted anything anywhere online, really. I’ve had several ideas I might have developed and posted here, but none that inspired me enough to sit down and write out in full. One possible post concerned the fact that I’m on an indefinite (as in ‘having no exact limits’) Instagram hiatus. The reasons for this are various but I don’t want to make them the central point of this post.

Making this decision did make me realise, though, that Instagram was simply the latest platform through which I had been somewhat carelessly flinging photographs out into the vast expanses of the Internet. I realised that I had essentially been doing something similar since I started making pictures. In the early days there were the forums I had frequented as a teenager. After that I began to upload photographs in bulk onto Flickr (which also served to share in those same forums) before eventually ending up, along with most other people on Instagram uploading a picture a day into the Neverending Story.

Sharing, or feeling like I was sharing, my work has always been a part of my experience of Photography. Not long ago I took another break from posting to Instagram, and what motivated me to start again was that a friend had sent me a picture of herself near a spot I had photographed, and ‘shared’ on ‘the Gram’. In that case an actual friend of mine had seen one of photographs, remembered it and shared their connection with the photograph back with me. It didn’t seem like it was all bad. Maybe it isn’t.

A friend sent me a picture of herself near this mural after discovering it for herself on a bike ride.

Ultimately it seems better to share my photographs in some way than to collect them all to myself on hard drives, in drawers or anywhere else they might ultimately reside. Photography wasn’t always shared via the Internet, but realistically, it is now. Photography and other similar pursuits are often called ‘creative outlets’, and over the past few weeks of not letting my work out, I’ve realised that sharing the things we make is important. I enjoy making photographs for the joy of doing so, I really do. I greatly enjoy wandering around with my camera, looking at the world and noticing subjects to photograph – but I’ve also realised that sharing what I create is part of what I enjoy about Photography. Making the photographs is creative. Sharing them is the outlet.

All this to say, I do want to be sharing my work, at least with people I know. Returning to Instagram remains an option, the platform and its algorithm will always welcome me back with open arms. I don’t believe it to be the best platform for Photography, but by virtue of its popularity, it is clearly the simplest way of putting my work before people’s eyes – at least for a couple of seconds before they double-tap to like (or don’t) and move on to the next picture. Sharing my work here feels more meaningful, but does require more effort on everyone’s part – mine to write the posts, and yours (I’m assuming somebody is still here at this point) to read them. I should be making that effort. Of course, having done so I need to alert people to my posts via … d’oh!

“F in the chat” – reference to online video gaming on a school wall. Valencia, June 2020.

I’ll figure that part out later. This is a start. I’ll try and share more photographs in another post soon.

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